"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Writers Should be Forward Thinking About Having a Back-up Plan!

A wise man once said, "If you wanna' make God laugh, tell him about your plans."
And when it comes to the writing life?
Well, I imagine we keep him quite giddy.

No matter how much we think we have a "handle" on things, that handle sometimes breaks.
It seems there are so many detours on the path to our well laid-out plans.
I recently got word that a major project with one of my biggest clients required a “change of directions,” derailing my cash flow, my summer vacation, and the allocation of my time for the next four months.

And this morning's post?
Well, it was "scheduled" to be an awesome addition to my "Roar Series" with an interview. But computer glitches dictated something different, as I was unable to open the related files.
All of which underscores the importance of having a back-up plan as writers.
Shift happens!

The reality here? To forge forward and go the distance, a "Plan B" is crucial for today's writer.

Accordingly, here are a few things to consider.


  • Do you have an Editorial Calendar, or a few months of ideas for future posts, in the event that life becomes hectic?
  • Do you have physical files and/or Cloud Storage back-up in the event of a computer virus, hacking, or lost files?
  • Are you adding a "cushion" to your schedule to make sure that clients' projects are completed on time? Keep in mind "Murphy's Law." 
  • What about an extra pair of reading glasses?
  • Do you have an address book or journal for important contact numbers and emails? I learned this the hard way. Never depend solely on technology. Some time ago, I had almost 200 numbers programmed in my cell phone, available at the touch of a button. I was so proud of my organization and efficiency here. Then my phone got damaged, and most of that data was unable to be retrieved. Gone forever.  Don't let it be you.
  • Do you keep extra chocolate on hand, in case of a crisis? Or an "adult beverage" when applicable? :-)

  • Do you have multiple income streams and various clients? Just in case a business relationship is terminated, or your favorite editor leaves a publication for which you are a frequent contributor.
  • How about additional income in a bank account for that "rainy day"?
  • Are you working with contracts to insure a greater likelihood of being able to collect for  services rendered?
  • Are you keeping your debt down to deal with an uncertain economy?

These are important issues to address in order to keep your business "in the black" and maintain your sanity.
There's great validity to the expression, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

How are you doing in these areas? Anything you'd like to add?

Image Credit: Jennifer Brown Banks-Jen's Office 


  1. Not much to add, Jennifer, besides perhaps a little notebook of article/story ideas to dip into when the well runs dry?

    Great post, as usual (from the one frumpy, old white teacher lady who's got enough hipness to recognize brilliance--in Ruthie Foster--when she hears it ;).

    1. Sioux,

      You are too adorable! LOL
      Still haven't gotten your feedback on Aretha Franklin's version of Adelle's "Rollin' in the Deep!" Thanks for your neat suggestion here. Always happy to hear from you.

    2. Okay, Jen. I just remembered that you had suggested that album, so I went online to listen to at least that track. Wow! Then I went to see how old Aretha Franklin is (73), Double wow! Greatness like hers is timeless.

    3. Have I ever steered ya' wrong? :-) Indeed it is!

  2. You certainly hit on all the real issues. I also think having a bank of essays article to withdraw from is an asset.

    1. Linda,

      ...And from what I can tell your "bank" has been pretty profitable. :-) Thanks so much for stopping by and weighing in.

  3. Yes - and a second email address to send your guest post when the first one is unable to send due to server issues to the wonderful host waiting patiently to recieve it! Thanks Jen - for being so patient with our computer glitches...

    1. Maribel,

      Ha! So true! "All's well that ends well." Right? Thanks so much for chiming in today. :-)

  4. I concentrate on fiction, so freelance work isn't something I do a lot. For my blog, I try to stay 3-4 weeks ahead in case life happens. It's saved my sanity more than once.

    1. Hi Sue,

      That's a great idea and a great practice. It's lovely connecting with you again. :-)

  5. I'm with Sue. I have been writing a lot of fiction short stories and am still learning about tools to boost readership, promote/manage my blog and market my short stories. I'm also a student which is why I wanted to get into this and start building my readership and income from writing now. I still need to be schooled on a lot of subjects pertaining to writing, it's an ongoing process.

    1. Kyanna,

      Welcome, as one of my newest followers. Thanks too, for adding to the conversation. We're all learning; you're in good company here. :-)

  6. As you can read in the comment I wrote on your recent post about time management, last Christmas I re-did and improved a rough Christmas card design I already created some years ago.

    I frequently work on several 'Maturing Files' with all kinds of ideas and rough designs that I can use for possible future development. Recently I actually did attempt to better organize those ideas and rough designs to make it a little easier to further develop ideas.

    It also can help with getting a better idea about the directions I actually want to develop.

  7. H.P.,

    Sounds like a clever and useful strategy. Thanks so much for the feedback. :-)